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Going Solo

You’ve passed your driving test, earned your licence and negotiated a family driving agreement with your parents. You’re finally ready to drive on your own—but there are still a few things you need to remember.

Keep safety a top priority

Driving for the first time can be fun and exciting, but your inexperience behind the wheel puts you at a greater risk of injury or death due to an accident. Never text while driving or drink and drive. Aside from being the law, sticking to these two habits could save your life. Other habits you should develop include checking your blind spot when changing lanes, keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, and staying alert to potentially risky situations.

Focus on driving and avoid distractions

Driving takes a good deal of concentration, especially for new drivers. When you start driving on your own, you’ll need to pay close attention to everything around you—from traffic signs and signals to your car’s speed and fuel level. That means it’s essential to avoid doing things that take your focus away from the road like eating, fixing your hair or makeup, and talking or texting on your phone.

You’ll also have to keep your emotions in check when driving. If you have a quick temper, learning to control your impulses is especially important. Getting angry or upset at other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians can shatter your focus and, even if it’s for just a split second, cause an accident. Keep a cool head and back off from dangerous or escalating situations.

Continue to build confidence

As you build your driving skills, your confidence in your abilities will continue to grow. And sticking to your family driving agreement will ensure your parents are also confident that you’ll make it home safe. Remember though, you are still learning and can always ask for advice from an experienced driver when driving on highways, in heavy traffic, and during heavy snow or rainstorms.

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